Sports

Fast-paced tempo just fine with Cardinal women in 44-point win

Pohlen, Appel each score 26 as Stanford races past Oregon

Jeanette Pohlen shot it from long range, drove to the basket, made short jumpers and otherwise rarely missed as she recorded a career-high 26 points to go with seven assists and no turnovers in an extraordinary display of offensive prowess.

With the needle stuck at 78 RPM, the Stanford women's basketball team embraced the swift pace to beat visiting Oregon, 104-60, Thursday in a contest that all but decided the Pac-10 race.

The second-ranked Cardinal (14-0, 24-1) can clinch a tie for the conference title Saturday night when decidedly slower-paced Oregon State visits Maples Pavilion for a 7 p.m. game Saturday that will also double as Senior Night.

Stanford, closing in on its 10th straight Pac-10 crown, remains three games up in the loss column on UCLA with four games to play.

"We can still execute a little better; run through all our plays," Stanford forward Kayla Pedersen said. "If we can put two halves together we'd be great. You saw glimpses of that today."

Pohlen made 10 of her 13 shots, including 6-of-9 from long range, to lead an onslaught that led to a combined 94 points among the five starters. Pedersen added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Jayne Appel generated 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting and 12 rebounds. She added four assists. Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 17 points on 6-on-9 shooting and Ros Gold-Onwude scored 11 points.

Stanford won its 15th straight game and was never challenged by the undersized Ducks. The Cardinal matched its highest-scoring first half of the season and then just added to the margin from there.

It was a far cry from the first meeting, when Stanford led by only five points with 8 minutes left before pulling away for a 20-point win. While the Cardinal was frustrated much of that game, this meeting was a laugher.

Appel got off to a slow start to her senior season following knee surgery over the summer, but is playing her best basketball as the season hits the home stretch. She is averaging 21.4 points and 13 rebounds over her past five games, peaking at the right time of year.

"I enjoy it," Appel said. "I think its' a fun game to play and much more exciting to watch as well."

It was left to freshman Joslyn Tinkle to score the basket that put Stanford over the century mark for the second time in as many games against the Ducks. Tinkle, who played all of 13 minutes, also blocked four shots.

"The style is very different," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "You can watch it, you can talk about it, but you don't know until you're actually playing against it. They're very good at what they do. We just didn't let them do what they like to do. We took care of the ball, we shot the ball well."

Stanford was off and running from tip-off to final buzzer, grabbing a 59-27 advantage by halftime on 55 percent shooting. The Cardinal 16 points off turnovers and had 10 second-chance points.

"I thought we ran on them and took it to them," Pedersen said. "They pressed us the game and we took advantage."

Stanford handled the press with ease, getting many open looks after breaking the pressure. The Cardinal took control early in this game, going on a 10-0 run midway through the opening half to take a 24-9 lead.

"We needed to take care of the ball and everybody was going to have to help break the press," Pohlen said. "It wasn't just going to be the guards or the post. It was going to have to be everybody. Once we did break the press we had to get in a set offense."

The advantage kept growing from there as Stanford scored in almost every way imaginable. Pedersen even got one easy basket after throwing an inbound pass off the back of an Oregon defender and taking the ball in for an easy layup that made it 42-22.

Stanford also took care of the ball. With Pohlen handling things, the Cardinal committed a mere 10 turnovers against 23 assists.

As accurate as Stanford shot during the first half, it was even crazier over the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Cardinal made 12 of its first 15 shots in that time to establish its superiority.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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